A Matter of Class is, strictly speaking, a novella, though it is longer than any I have written before. It is definitely shorter than a novel, however. I hope it will give you great enjoyment anyway.
Reginald Mason has been a wildly extravagant expense to his father for too long. He must marry and settle down. And it so happens that Lady Annabelle Ashton, daughter of the Earl of Havercroft, the Masons' neighbor and long-time enemy, has just disgraced herself by trying to elope with her father's coachman. At last Mr. Mason sees a way of forcing recognition for his wealth even though he is not a gentlemen by birth. Reggie will marry Annabelle—or be cut off forever from his father's vast funds.
Annabelle is about to be banished to her father's most remote estate in northern England. She is ruined and unmarriageable. But at the last moment she is offered a reprieve from complete disgrace and her father is offered a reprieve from the financial ruin he has been facing for some time. All the earl has to do is swallow his pride and marry his daughter to the son of his enormously wealthy neighbor, whom he has despised for years. His decision is soon made. Annabelle will marry Reginald Mason or be cast into outer darkness for the rest of her life.
It is not a promising start for the lifelong commitment of marriage. But it would seem that Reggie and Annabelle have no choice but to make the best of it. They have no control over their destiny, after all.
Or do they?
Vanguard Press, ISBN 978-1593155891
The indomitable Mary Balogh drolly pokes fun of the class system in Regency England, and gifts the reader with a thoroughly delightful tale. A Matter of Class is skillfully plotted, with beautiful and slightly flawed characters, superb story threads, and a little intrigue. Altogether, this is a charming and witty romance that will keep you smiling from start to fantastic finish. What a great way to start off a New Year!
Betty Cox, ReaderToReader.com
Fans of the popular Balogh are accustomed to her longer, more complex historical romances. Yet this slip of a novel manages to reveal a great deal about its misguided protagonists and how the past catches up with them. The happily-ever-after is never in doubt, but the unexpected denouement will have readers gasping and smiling with delight. A can't-miss choice for romance fans.
Bette-Lee Fox,Library Journal
Combining wonderful dialog, secrets, and delightful flashbacks, Balogh creates a romance that exudes sensuality without graphic descriptions. Treat yourself to a gift of excellence and sit back and relax while reading A Matter of Class. You won't be disappointed.
Marilyn Rondeau, Ck2sKwipsandKritiques.com